Expert says Turkey restoring ties with Israel - nationalist tactic
Tehran, Iran, December 18
By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:
The fact that Ankara is normalizing relations with Israel is a result of the Turkish ruling party's nationalistic policies, political analyst Mehdi Motaharnia said.
At its time, the Welfare Party's policies were national and pragmatic, and now Turkey's national interests are presented by redefining Islamic nationalism, he told Trend December 18.
Israel and Turkey on December 17 reached a preliminary agreement to begin restoring full diplomatic relations after years of deep freeze.
The two countries, once close regional allies, fell out after a deadly confrontation in 2010 between Israeli commandos and Turkish activists on a passenger vessel seeking to breach Israel's naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.
The ship, the Mavi Marmara, was part of a flotilla carrying aid to Gaza when Israeli naval commandos rappelled onto the ship's deck and killed nine activists after being met with violent resistance. A 10th activist died of received wounds later.
Motaharnia said Turkey is seeking to boost its flexibility in the region by reaching out to Israel as a replacement for shaky relations with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Iran, as well as confrontation with Russia over Syria.
"But we should know Erdogan did the same after what happened in Turkey and neighboring countries. Sometime later, he made speeches against Tel Aviv in Davos. On the other side, due to its foreign policy requirements, Ankara ruling party tried to create less friction with Israel. Yet again later, in order to create better ground for neighbors, it defended the Lebanese group Hamas in the case of the Gaza war," the expert pointed out.
"So history shows this new move is a tactical gesture within the nationalist policies of Turkey's ruling party."